As I said in my worst books of 2018 post, I didn’t read a truly terrible book this year. That’s amazing, of course, but it made choosing this list all the more difficult. I read so many different types of good book this year, from queer romances to literary classics to some good old-fashioned trashy YA, and I’ve combined my opinions from the year into one master list. Here are my favorite 8 books of 2018.
8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I picked up this epistolary novel because my grandma said I would like it, and I wanted to watch the Netflix adaptation. I was pleasantly surprised at how real and current this novel felt even though we only got a sense of story and character from the letters and telegrams shared between members of the cast. It was charming historical read that I think will make for a great second read in the future.
7. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Another epistolary novel that charmed its way into my top 8 list this year. This quirky story of agoraphobe Bernadette’s life, as interpreted by her daughter Bee, is a tale of family ties that features a killer character arc. From Seattle to Antarctica and beyond, I loved Bernadette’s story so much that I’d follow it across the world.
6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This book is a twisted historical recount of the brief ascension (nine days to be exact) of Lady Jane Grey, and explains in vivid detail how the textbooks got it all wrong. My Lady Jane is infused with magic, swoony romance, and plenty of wit and humor to keep you chuckling the whole way through.
5. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
In Simon vs., unlucky-in-love Simon is a closeted gay high schooler who strikes up an online romance with a boy from his school, only they don’t know who each other are. This novel was equal parts romance, social commentary, and fluffy pop culture references that made me smile.
4. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
There were so many stunning aspects to this book: the beautifully-narrated audiobooks (which I highly recommend), the extravagant and adventurous plot, and protagonist Monty’s witty remarks at every turn. This sweeping tale of young, forbidden love and the misadventures that come with it is nothing short of stellar.
3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Seriously, how did y’all let me make it to nineteen years old without reading this masterpiece of a book? I knew the classic tale of Mr. Gatsby and his forbidden love would be good, but I had no idea that it would be that good. The Great Gatsby became one of my new favorites, not just of the year, but of all time.
2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saénz
Speaking of books that are now on my all-time favorites list, this book about two Mexican boys in a sweltering Texas summer and the path they take to find love is pretty high on the list. The character development in this novel was astounding in the best way possible. It’s books like this that make me want to write books like this.
1.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is another book I can’t believe I waited so long to read, because it was clearly my favorite book of the year. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those rare books that is both difficult and easy, challenging and seamless to read. As someone raised in the south, I’m a sucker for a classic Southern setting, but reading about the nasty underbelly to my culture added a gritty layer of reality. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it.
What were your favorite books of the year? Did we read any of the same books this year?
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